Social media – opportunities for direct marketers

The marketing story of the past decade has been the growing fragmentation of marketing channels, and the need to find the right people in the right places at the right time.  There’s been a strong shift from blanket advertising towards targeted approaches through direct channels: mail, email, the Web and telephone, each with its own very specific characteristics, advantages and potential pitfalls.

Social networking sites and other user-driven media are yet another  channel that direct marketers are having to get to grips with. To help them figure it out, the Direct Marketing Association has launched its first quarterly social media report, identifying the marketing opportunities that exist within social media.

The report is produced by digital intelligence analysts StrategyEye, and covers the last quarter of 2008. It analyses how platforms like  Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are changing their business models, offering new types of content to attract advertisers and create new revenue streams for themselves.

The report also offers insights into how consumers are using social networking, blogs and other Web 2.0 applications.

Mark Brill, chairman of the DMA Mobile Marketing Council, says it’s a critical time for direct marketers to understand the marketing opportunities that social media present.

“It is a nascent industry, so confusion is commonplace as to how social networking and UGC websites are monetising their content, and how users interact with such media. These websites have great potential for highly-targeted marketing opportunities, so this report will help direct marketers to make informed decisions.”

The Report is available for download from the member research section of the DMA website.

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